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Still in the dark about women? Luckily, scientists have created the first three-dimensional map of the female brain leading up to — and during — an orgasm.
The 3D video presented at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington this week shows a female brain at the moment of orgasm. In vivid color, dozens of major regions “light up” when the participants climaxed, providing new evidence that an orgasm is not merely a physical experience, Time Magazine was first to report.
Within that moment of virtual enlightenment, activity in over 80 regions of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex which controls advanced and abstract thought, showed significantly increased activity.
The finding contradicts previous research by a Dutch team finding the frontal cortex inactive during orgasm.
The brain scan found that the sensory regions were the first to show activity at stimulation, followed by the insula — a region of the brain also associated with processing pain.
“During orgasm, women are much less sensitive to pain,” Komisaruk told Time Magazine.
Other areas stimulated on the road to orgasm included the amygdala, which is involved in emotion, and the hippocampus, an area of the brain that processes memories and can set off activity in multiple regions of the brain.
“The hippocampus is often involved in epileptic seizure activity,” Komisaruk told Time Magazine. “There’s a lot of similarity between seizures and orgasms in the sense that they involve many brain regions concurrently.”
From the hippocampus, brain activity passed to the prefortal cortex, responsible for high-level thought, before eventually reaching the brain’s pleasure center at the moment orgasm.
The research comes on the heels of Komisaruk’s earlier pioneering research mapping the female brain’s response to genital stimulation without orgasm, published in the October edition of the Journal of Sexual Medicine and reported by Time Magazine.
Now if we can only figure out what’s going on in their heads the rest of the time.